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Cost to Study in USA for International Students: Tuition & Living

Jan 13, 2023

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The US higher education system is often regarded as the best globally, drawing many international students every year. The USA's universities consistently rank among the best in the world, and it has the highest concentration of top-tier schools. The United States is also well known for its business schools and is home to some of the world's top programs. 

Because of the worldwide interest in obtaining a globally recognized college degree, many prospective international students would like to check the expense of attending university in this most sought-after study destination. So, let’s look into it.


Cost of Attending University in the United States

The United States has both public and private universities, with tuition fees being the primary expense for higher education. Public or State Universities have cheaper tuition rates than the Private Universities. Higher education costs will also vary according to the degree pursued, and the institution attended. International students studying in the United States can tentatively expect a cost of between $25,000 and $45,000 per year tuition and living expenses.

But one can rest assured that studying at the top universities in the USA is affordable despite the high average tuition that one must pay. This is due to the different kinds of funding accessible. Let's look at the tuition fee structure in the USA to get a clear picture of what an aspiring international student aiming to study in the US should be ready for in terms of finances. 


Tuition Fees at Public Universities

One of the highest and initial costs of studying in the USA is tuition. The cost of study in the USA varies depending on several variables, including the course taken, the kind of degree program, the type of university, etc.

The following table gives you a range of the cost to study in Public US Universities as per the degree you choose:

Course Level

Avg. Annual Tuition Fee

Bachelor in US

8,000 - 35,000 USD /year

Masters in US

10,000 - 35,000 USD /year


Tuition Fees at Private Universities

Compared to Public Universities, private universities have higher tuition fees but note that they are worth every penny. Tuition fees are the same for all students (for native as well as international students).

The following table gives you a range of the cost to study in Private US Universities as per the degree you choose:

Course Level

Avg. Annual Tuition Fee

Bachelor in US

25,000 - 50,000 USD /year

Masters in US

22,000 - 55,000 USD /year


International Students Cost for Undergraduate Degree in the USA

In the United States of America, the average cost of a four-year Bachelor’s college education for an overseas student is $30,000. Some of the most popular undergraduate degrees in the United States are the Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees, Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). Depending on the institution and degree program, tuition and fees may vary. Note for International Students the costs vary from university to university if they choose to get admission in USA.


International Students Cost for Master’s Degree in the USA

A Master's degree in the United States costs between $20,000 and $35,000. This range is based on the variety of universities offering the degree and the cost of the specific program being pursued. The most popular Master’s degree in the USA among many is M.S in Data Science, M.S in Computer Science and M.S in Software Engineering. When considering a master's degree program in the United States, many students from other countries are drawn to those focusing on STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Additional Practical Training and a stay-back option of up to 2 years are available with these programs.


Scholarships for Higher Education in the US

The government of the USA and many US universities offer a scholarship to international students based on merit, need, sports and sometimes extra-curricular excellence as well. Students can apply for the best scholarships based on their eligibility. In these Scholarships, the most accrued costs like tuition, living expenses, etc. are covered. Students should also know that all these scholarships are quite competitive.

Students can check for scholarship availability and the process for applying for the same.


Cost of Living in the United States

The average cost of living in the United States is roughly $1,500 per month or $10,000 per year. This includes your lodging, meals, transportation, publications, apparel suited for the season, and leisure activities. Let's look at the living cost and expenses in the USA: 


Average Yearly / Monthly Cost

Books and Study Material

$900 - $2,000 per year


$300 - $700 per year


$9,800 - $11,100 per year


$100 - $150 per month




                                               On campus: $250 per month

Off-campus: $400 - $600 per month

Phone Subscription

$50 per month

Home Internet

$45 - $50 per month

Health Insurance

$700 - $1,100 per year


$500 per year

Water, Trash and Sewer

$50 - $75 per month


It is important to note that International Bachelor Students have a mandate of staying on campus for the first year. And also, health insurance is compulsory for International Students who choose to study in the USA.

USA State-wise Cost of Living 

The choice of place to study and live in the United States significantly impacts international students' overall cost of living. The cost of living will no doubt be higher in metropolitan areas like New York, Boston, and San Francisco than in rural areas like Seattle, Texas, and New Orleans. 

Other than the above-specified costs there can be some additional costs also depending on the scenario in the country and the student’s preferences. 

The USA has consistently been ranked among the top places for studying abroad, and now that you know how much it would cost to attend college there, it will be simpler to arrange all your expenses. 

A knowledgeable advisor and a helping hand can help you streamline your study abroad journey. They can also guide you with the required information for financial aid and Study Abroad loans to support this quest of yours. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Cost to Study in the USA


1. How much is the tuition fee in the USA for foreign students? 
Ans: The cost of attending a US university varies depending on a number of criteria, including the degree type, the university, the course, etc. 

International students might anticipate paying anything between $8,000 and $55,000 or even more, on average. 

2. What are the typical costs for overseas students at Public and Private Universities in the USA? 
Ans: In the US, Public/State Universities charge an annual tuition fee ranging from $8,000 to $35,000. 

Private Universities in the USA charge between $25,000 to $55,000, based on the program and duration. 
3. How much does a USA study program cost in Indian rupees? 
Ans: The cost for Indian students to study in the United States ranges from INR 6,61,884 (The current $1 rate is INR 82.70, thus $8,000 * INR 82.70) to INR 45,50,452 (The current $1 rate is INR 82.70, thus $55,000 * INR 82.70).

4. How much does it generally cost to live in the USA? 
Ans: In the United States, the average cost of living is about $1,500 per month or $10,000 annually. This covers your accommodations, meals, transportation, books, appropriate clothing for the season, and leisure pursuits.

5. Why do International Students choose the US as their most preferred study destination, despite the cost?
Ans: The Universities in the USA consistently rank among the best in the world and the US higher education system is also regarded as the best globally. 

Thus, drawing many international students every year, making it the most preferred study destination for them, despite of the cost. 

Contact our experts at KC and plan your journey to study in the USA right away!

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